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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 16:11 GMT
Oil firm's lucky North Sea strike
Brenda oilfield
The Brenda oilfield, where reserves are said to be significant
A Canadian energy company has made a "significant" oil discovery in the North Sea, it has emerged.

Oilexco believes the Brenda field in the Outer Moray Firth could yield 150 million barrels of oil.

The Calgary-based firm has carried out two operations on the prospect but the site's true potential is not expected to emerge until the summer.

Experts believe the find could be one of the biggest in the North Sea in recent times.

Further exploration

Charlie Sharp, oil analyst with Canaccord Capital (Europe), said: "It is potentially very significant.

"We are talking about potentially 150 million barrels or more but it is early days. There is more drilling to be done to determine how big it is.

"Most of the discoveries in the last several years have involved 20 million to 30 million barrels."

On Oilexco's plans, Mr Sharp: "The company are expecting to drill one more well in April and probably another one or two in the summer.

"After that the picture will become clearer."

A statement on Oilexco's website confirmed the Brenda oil find "to be a signification stratigraphic oil accumulation in the central UK North Sea."

The biggest discovery in the last decade was the Buzzard oil field in the Inner Moray Firth in 2001.

It contains an estimated 400 million barrels of oil.

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